Two police boats to help with Southern Moreton Bay Island emergencies

TWO police boats - already used for search and rescue operations - were officially commissioned today by Police Minister Mark Ryan and police commissioner Katarina Carroll.

LAUNCH: Police Minister Mark Ryan, police commissioner Katarina Carrol, Sandra Lena (mother of Sondra Lena) and MP Kim Richards.

LAUNCH: Police Minister Mark Ryan, police commissioner Katarina Carrol, Sandra Lena (mother of Sondra Lena) and MP Kim Richards.

Following sea trials, crew training, and a fit out, the two vessels are operating out of Redland Bay.

A 20 metre multiple vehicle high speed barge has been commissioned as theStewart Kerlin, after Detective Sergeant Stewart Kerlin who was killed on duty in 2006.

The second is a 10 metre rigid inflatable monohull, theSondra Lena, named after Constable Sondra Lena who was killed on duty in 1992.

It will be used by water police for their patrol vessel. Both will operate out of Redland Bay.

Commissioner Carroll said the water police group worked out of southern Moreton Bay and specifically supported police on Russell, Macleay, North Stradbroke, Coochiedmudlo, Karragarra and Lamb Islands.

"These two vessels pay homage to Constable Lena and Detective Sergeant Kerlin and allow the service to maintain their memory and recognise their service and their sacrifice," she said.

"Not only do the vessels serve as a lasting memory of the officers, but they also assist Water Police officers by providing them with the up-to-date and advanced technical support they require to service the community."

Mr Ryan said the day was special for police, family and friends.

"...It was an honour to be a part of the ceremony and I look forward to seeing these vessels continue to be used for the benefit of all," he said.

Redlands MP Kim Richards said the ceremony was confirmation of the commitment made to those who put their lives at risk for the sake of their fellow Queenslanders.

"We must not forget, and we will not forget, the sacrifice of Detective Sergeant Kerwin and Constable Lena.

"...And I know how important it is for our water police to have the capability to access our unique Redlands Coast islands communities when they need help the most," Mr Richards said.